Sunday, December 26, 2004

Ilmington Down

There seems to have been more sun the past two days than for weeks - what a great holiday if you like being outdoors! Today we set off in the car to Ilmington, a village in South Warwickshire not too far from home. We followed a set walk published in a series of volumes we often find invaluable. Basically, the walk took us up onto the large circular mound that is Ilmington Downs, past a very impressive Cotswold stone mansion that is owned by an American billionaire who seems to know how to keep the locals happy by building good stiles and footpath signposts. Then up to the highest point (850 feet and the highest point in all of Warwickshire!) with commanding views of the Avon Vale to the north and west before descending back into Ilmington. This village is quite special and worth a visit. With a village store and two very lively pubs (one, the Howard arms is considered to be the best "gastropub" in the country) it seems to have a good community spirit. All in all, about 8 miles, so we are suitably tired but very happy.

View of the east flank of Ilmington Down - typical Shire country, don't you think, Peter Jackson?

Foxcote House from one of several public rights of way that come very close to the property. We wonder if the absentee owner knew about English footpaths when he bought the property!